Why Do People Hate Time Tracking, Counterarguments, and How to Prevent It?

The time-tracking renaissance that has arguably started in the past decade has allowed many businesses to evolve for the better by improving their internal and external practices, the productivity of their employees, and the overall relationships with their clients.

Still, despite the numerous benefits of time tracking for both employees and employers, it’s common for employees to harbor negative feelings toward this practice. In fact, these feelings go even further than that – some employees just hate time tracking.

Why Do People Hate Time Tracking, Counterarguments, and How to Prevent It?
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In this article, we’ll try to shed some light and explain why employees tend to have a negative outlook on something as seemingly simple as time tracking. 

We’ll also delve into the ways you can prevent your employees from hating time tracking and incentivize them to change their attitude. Who knows, maybe they’ll end up enjoying the entire time tracking experience once you take the right measures to make the process more user-friendly.  

Reasons Why Employees Don’t Like Time Tracking and How to Fix This

To better understand the reasons behind some employees' hesitancy toward time-tracking systems, we have to look at the broader scope of business and managerial decisions that can harm employee motivation and performance. 

So, what are the most common reasons for employees hating time tracking, and how can you fix this problem? Let’s see.

3 Reasons Behind Employee Resistance to Time Tracking and Ways to Address Them

Time Tracking Feels Like an Extra Task

First of all, we can all agree that it takes time to track time. However, whether or not this task will take more than it should largely depends on the company's time-tracking methods. What no employee wants is an additional time-consuming task added to their daily work schedule

If a company’s time tracking system is outdated and difficult to manage, it’s probably going to lead to employee dissatisfaction and/or their complete refusal to participate in it, causing huge problems for the business. Why?

To reap all the benefits of a particular time-tracking solution, your data has to be accurate. This is how you’ll zero in on the job areas that need improvement, accurately bill clients, process payroll, and more. And, in order to gather accurate data, you need employee participation, it’s as simple as that.  

For those reasons, it’s vital to have all your employees on board with regard to time tracking. A great way to do this is to streamline the entire time-tracking process so they don’t have a reason to hate time-tracking or decide not to participate in it.

There are various ways to do this, but the most straightforward solution is using cloud-based time-tracking software.

A lot of time-tracking software solutions have an automatic time-tracking feature, which requires minimal or zero manual input on the part of employees (depending on the exact type of software). The less time employees need to spend on time tracking, the more likely they’ll do it.  

Time Tracking Is Perceived as Micromanagement 

Some employees might initially perceive time tracking as a form of micromanagement, which a lot of people consider to be a form of bullying.

Even if your company has no intention of micromanaging its employees by asking them to track their time, if your employees feel this way for some reason, they can lose their motivation to perform their job and be overall dissatisfied with their work environment.

Here’s what you can do to clear the air around your company’s time-tracking process and help your employees develop a better relationship with it: 

  • Have a frank discussion with your employees about time tracking and explain the whole process from start to finish;
  • Don’t focus solely on the benefits that time tracking will have for the company but emphasize the upsides of time tracking for employees, too;
  • Teach employees how to make the most out of time-tracking solutions; 
  • Try to make the whole process fun (or as fun as it can be); 
  • Ensure the time-tracking solution you decide to use is as user-friendly as possible;

Employees Don’t Understand the Importance of Time Tracking

If you implement a time-tracking policy without explaining the importance of this practice to your employees, it won’t be surprising if they develop a negligent approach toward it.

If you don’t want your employees to be indifferent toward time tracking, you have to educate them about it. The more information they have about the process and its implications and the more they understand how it works, the higher the chances of them abiding by your time-tracking policy.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Start by clearly explaining the importance of time management and time tracking. Give examples of how it can benefit both the business and the individual employees.
  • Provide hands-on training sessions to employees to help them understand the time-tracking process.
  • Explain when they should track time, how long to spend on each task, and what types of activities they should track. Or, in other words, set and manage expectations.
  • Provide support and ensure your employees' questions are answered on an ongoing basis or as they pop up. 

Additional Tips: How to Prevent Employees From Hating Time Tracking?

How to Prevent Employees From Hating Time Tracking? 4 tips

Address All Privacy and Other Issues

Things that often get mentioned in relation to people hating time tracking are various privacy and security issues. So, to counter that, it’s important to explain to your employees what sort of data you’ll be gathering and for what reason.

Honesty and transparency will help you create a non-toxic work environment where your employees actually care about the work they do instead of just satisfying quotas and adhering to metrics and statistics. 

If your ultimate goal is to truly improve everyone's performance and do it in the most healthy way possible, addressing any employee concerns about their privacy is the way to go. 

Incentivize Employees To Track Time 

There’s more than one way to incentivize your employees to track time. Here are some of the ways you can do that:


The reason why gamification has become more than just a buzzword in many different business circles is that it works. Adding commonly used game mechanics, like experience points, rewards that increase dopamine levels, tracking levels, and such, can make the entire time-tracking process more engaging. 

And, if the process is enjoyable, your employees will be more likely to participate in it. 

Offer Rewards or Incentives

If your business or company is not in a position to offer monetary incentives for employees who diligently track their time, you can try incorporating different incentives and/or rewards. These rewards could range from giving them a couple of extra days off to various types of bonuses, recognitions, or even gifts/gift cards. Basically, any kind of reward system that you deem likely to work within your company's culture or a specific team or department.  

Lead From the Front

Leading from the front is a managerial style that puts managers and team leads into the thick of it, sort of speak. It relies on the simple fact that managers are willing to do the exact type of work that their employees are being asked to do if the need for it exists (this method is called participating leadership).

When it comes to time tracking, leading from the front is quite simple. As a team lead or an employer, you just have to track time regularly. Be the one who leads the charge, and soon you’ll have all of your employees following your lead and tracking their time.

Make It a Team Effort

If you encourage your team to collaborate when tracking time, you will not only ensure they  track their work hours on a regular basis but will also improve their cohesion and team spirit. And, as many studies suggest, teamwork and good collaboration within teams can have numerous benefits for companies, such as:

  • Increased chance of a positive outcome when solving work-related problems;
  • A higher chance of positive innovation;
  • Reduced stress;
  • Higher job satisfaction;

Use the Right Tools

No matter what you choose to do and how you implement time tracking into your business, it won’t be successful unless you get the right tools for it. There are many different solutions out there, but some of the best have to be using time-tracking apps.

They are, for the most part, the most reliable and will give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about your employees’ work hours.

Make It Easy

The difficulty levels of some time-tracking solutions can be why certain employees are not welcoming or hate the implementation of time-tracking software into their work environment. 

How to fix it? It’s simple, make it easy. Time tracking shouldn’t be yet another tedious task your employees have to accomplish. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. Time tracking should help them perform their job duties better and more efficiently. 

Check out the linked article to learn more about the best time-tracking practices.